Cloud Server vs Physical – Cloud vs Physical Round 1

Kate SaundersServers

Last month we looked at a few different areas of wireless networking. Over the next two weeks we will be looking at some of the difference, advantages and disadvantages of both physical and cloud hardware and software. This week we look at some of the differences between a physical server and a cloud server.

What is a Physical Server?

Firstly, a server is usually a dedicated computer in charge of managing your network. It can have the job of simply being a file server where you store all your documents and business data, or you can have a server in charge of internet access, user credentials and managing who see’s what printers and shared folders.

For very small businesses the task of holding all your documents can be simply given to a main PC or a NAS (Network Attached Storage). If you find you have more reliable and robust requirements, dedicated server hardware and software is required.

Server hardware and software is built for servers and is meant to run 24/7 without fail, of course this isn’t always the case but it is much more reliable than consumer grade hardware and plain ol’ Windows 10.

For many years, well before “the cloud” was even a buzzword, servers have always been a physical piece of hardware in a server cabinet or tucked away in a room. A physical server allowed IT professionals to manage the hardware and replace components as required. A physical server can be quite a big hit on the bank up front but you can rest assured that you can access your data and manage the server, even when your internet is offline.

What is a Cloud Server?

Cloud servers have come a long way since the beginning and you may be using them more often than you think. Cloud servers are accessed via the internet and don’t require a physical box in your office. In all honesty, a cloud server still has to sit somewhere in the world on physical hardware, but cloud servers are called that because no mater where you are in the world – with internet access you have access to your server.

Cloud servers are usually billed on a monthly basis and are priced on how much data storage and performance you want out of it. You may be surprised but if you have a website – you are most likely using a cloud server. A Cloud server can be simply in charge of displaying your website to thousands if not millions of people a day or it can be your sole source of company data and software that you run and accessed remotely by all your employees.

TL;DR, So What’s The Verdict?

So you aren’t a fan of reading and just want to know what we’re on about, here goes.

If you need direct, always on, local access to your data and are prepared to pay more upfront, then a physical server may be for you. Alternatively, if you want a versatile and scalable solution that you don’t have to worry about hardware maintenance and physical upgrades, then a cloud server may be your best choice.

Keep in mind that some business scenarios require a physical server and you don’t have much of an option, so you may have your hands tied. Also note that what has been said above is only just touching the surface of servers and you may still be unsure what way you might want to go in your business. If that is you, feel free to contact us and we can discuss your needs and find the best solution for your budget. Make sure you follow us on facebook and read our next article to learn more about Cloud vs. Physical as we try to clear up the topic of Backups and the MANY options you might not know you have.